Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

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Many students seeking University admission in Japan are worried about entrance exams. The most well-known entrance exam that is open to foreign students and used by a number of Japanese universities is the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students, or EJU for short. In this article, we will discuss the EJU and whether or not you need to take it. If you are interested in studying in Japan, in an English-taught degree program like iCLA’s Bachelor of International Liberal Arts, the good news is that you do not need to pass the EJU to apply.

What is the EJU?

The Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) is used by some universities in Japan to evaluate whether an international applicant has the Japanese language skills and academic abilities required to study at their institution.

Traditionally, international students wishing to enter a Japanese university to study an undergraduate degree taught in Japanese would get their language ability to a JLPT N2 or N1 level, then take the EJU or their desired university’s entrance exam. However, the increasing availability of English-taught undergraduate degree programs, such as the International College of Liberal Arts (iCLA) at Yamanashi Gakuin University’s Bachelor of International Liberal Arts, means taking the EJU is not always required to enter a Japanese university. The benefit of studying in English in Japan is that you can take credit-bearing courses in Japanese during your degree. These courses will help you become comfortable with daily life and communication in Japan, make Japanese friends on campus, participate in club activities and community events, and work part time while studying, meaning that if you make the effort, you can graduate with a high level of fluency in Japanese. We’ve even written a guide on why Japanese isn’t as hard to learn as you may think to get you started.

Examination Subjects

You can take EJU examinations in the following subjects:

  • Japanese as a Foreign Language
  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology)
  • Japan and the World
  • Mathematics.

You will select which exams to take based on the requirements of the university you wish to enter. All subjects except Japanese as a Foreign Language are available in both Japanese or English, and you can specify at the time of application which language you’d like to take it in. The Japanese as a Foreign Language exam is in Japanese only.

Universities that Accept EJU

Most universities that accept international students into their Japanese-taught degree programs accept the EJU. JASSO maintains a list of universities that accept the EJU. Yamanashi Gakuin University is included.  

How to Take the EJU

To take the EJU you will need to apply during the application window, then attend a testing center and physically take the exam on the appointed date. The EJU is not offered online.


The EJU is administered in June and November both in Japan and in other countries and regions. The application window for each exam is rather short, so you will need to take that into account. The dates change every year so please refer to the current EJU application and testing schedule for more information.


The EJU is administered in June and November both in Japan and in other countries in Asia. Within Japan the EJU is conducted across the country at designated universities. 

Testing sites outside Japan are in Hong Kong, India (New Delhi), Indonesia (Jakarta and Surabaya), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar), Myanmar (Yangon), Philippines (Manila), Republic of Korea (Seoul and Busan), Singapore, Sri Lanka (Colombo), Taiwan (Taipei), Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City). JASSO maintains a complete list of EJU testing sites.

Application Process

To register for the EJU exam from outside Japan you should contact the representative organization in your country for the application form and instructions on how to pay the exam fee.

If you are in Japan and wish to take the EJU here you can apply to take the EJU on JASSO’s website.

The Structure of Examination Subjects

As of December 2023 the following subjects are offered as EJU examinations. 

Subject Purpose Length Score Range
Japanese as a
foreign language
To measure whether your academic Japanese language ability is adequate to  study at a Japanese university 125
Reading & Listening Comprehension
Science To measure your academic skill in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology 80
Japan and the World To measure your academic skill in the liberal arts, particularly your logical reasoning ability 80
Mathematics To measure your academic skill in mathematics 80

 The following is a brief explanation of the contents of each exam. For a complete breakdown of the EJU syllabus covered in each exam, please see JASSO’s website.

Japanese as a Foreign Language

The Japanese as a Foreign Language exam consists of writing (30 minutes), reading comprehension (40 minutes), and listening and listening-reading comprehension (55 minutes) sections.


In accordance with the entry requirements of the university you wish to enter, you will need to select two exam subjects from physics, chemistry and biology. If you only take one exam on the day, you will not be graded.

Japan and the World

This exam covers topics from the fields of Politics, Economy, and Society, as well as from Geography and History. The goal of the exam is to measure your understanding of Japanese and world history from the Industrial Revolution onwards, Japanese politics, and contemporary Japanese society.


There are two mathematics exams you can take, and which you choose will depend on the requirements of the university program you wish to enter.

The Course 1 exam is for those seeking to enter liberal arts or science degrees where a lower level of mathematics ability is required. The Course 2 exam is for students trying to enter university degree programs where higher level mathematics is required.

Other Common Examinations for University Application

Many universities will accept other examination results in lieu of the EJU, or may not even require them at all, with a high school school diploma (or proof that you are due to graduate) being the only requirement. These exams include the national university entrance exams of your home country, the SAT, and ACT, for example. In addition, you may need to take an English test like the IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, or Duolingo English Test in order to prove your English language ability.


While the EJU is accepted by many universities in Japan, you will still need to contact the university you are interested in to see if they accept it for the academic program you are interested in applying to. Some universities will have their own entrance exam you will need to sit and may also require you to attend an interview as well.

Studying in Japanese at a Japanese university has always been a difficult prospect for international students. While the EJU goes someway to opening up more pathways for international students, the short application windows, the fact you only have two chances to take it a year, and the small number of exam venues still make it a daunting prospect for many students.

Thankfully, there are many English-taught degree programs in Japan, like the Bachelor of International Liberal Arts at iCLA, that do not require it. In fact, you do not need any Japanese ability at all to apply. If you are a higher-level Japanese speaker, you can go straight into our advanced Japanese classes, join campus clubs, and more easily find part-time work around campus. If you are interested in applying to iCLA please check out the complete run-down of iCLA’s entrance requirements for international students.